Under FBI Investigation. These days, those words are most commonly associated with the investigation into Donald Trump's campaign and the possible collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. But, of course, that wasn't always the case. Those were the three words that Republicans spent much of 2016 flinging smugly at the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, over an FBI investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. The very fact of an investigation, many Republicans claimed, made Clinton unfit for the presidency — never mind that she was never indicted. No, the mere possibility of something untoward was enough for Republicans to call for her withdrawal and even her incarceration.
Anyone who still believes that the GOP attacks about Clinton's server were motivated by a sincere concern for the American people should look at the silence on Capitol Hill now. When it became clear that the shoe was on the other foot, Republicans' moral indignation vanished.
Moreover, the thing they accused Clinton of — jeopardizing the security of classified information — is something the president has openly done since taking office. On Monday, the Washington Post reported that just last week, Trump revealed classified information collected by an ally (later revealed to be Israel) to Russian officials.
Below is a sampling of some of the many, many Republicans who expressed their "horror" and "outrage" at the prospect of having a president under FBI investigation. If these people were truly so concerned about having a president who is investigated by the FBI, maybe they should think twice about whether Trump is fit to remain in office.
1Marco Rubio — Jan. 6, 2016
Rubio told a crowd that Republicans were way better than the crop of Democratic presidential candidates, declaring, "None of them is a socialist. None of our candidates is under FBI investigation."
Only one of those things is still true. And if being under FBI investigation is such a significant problem for a candidate, one wonders why Rubio has not called for impeachment.
2Jeb Bush — Jan. 14, 2016
Good Bush line: Clinton's under investigation. If elected, "she might be going back and forth between the White House and the courthouse."— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) January 15, 2016
In a Republican primary debate, Jeb Bush warned voters of the risks of having a president under FBI investigation, saying:
Unlike many Republicans on this list, Bush did not support Trump in the general election. But he's also stayed silent on the current FBI investigation, opting instead for a career change. Bush is reportedly looking to buy the Miami Marlins with Derek Jeter.
3Sean Spicer — Feb. 20, 2016
These days, Spicer doesn't seem to be having any trouble getting excited about his White House boss.
4Reince Priebus — Feb. 25, 2016
Our party has momentum while Dems struggle to choose between a self-declared socialist & someone who's under FBI investigation #GOPDebate— Reince Priebus (@Reince) February 26, 2016
Priebus is currently serving as chief of staff for an administration whose campaign is under FBI investigation for possible collusion with Russia, so I guess the choice didn't turn out to be so difficult after all.
5Kellyanne Conway — June 7, 2016
#Hillary made history today:we've not nominated someone under FBI investigation whom a majority of Americans says not trustworthy not honest— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) June 7, 2016
Another tweet about the horrors of a potential president under FBI investigation, this time with the added problems that would occur if he or she also suffered from terrible trustworthiness metrics. But since Clinton lost, I guess the only thing we know for sure about having such a president is that Conway would be willing to work for them.
6Michael Flynn — July 18, 2016
At the 2016 Republican National Convention, Flynn led the crowd in calls to jail the Democratic nominee. He then added, "I have called on Hillary Clinton to drop out of the race because she — she — put our nation's security at extremely high risk with her careless use of a private email server."
In fact, Clinton's use of an email server, according to Flynn, was so bad that she should also be jailed. The tide has turned in less than a year since Flynn made this statement. He is currently under investigation for working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign. He was forced to resign after misleading the vice president about his communications with the Russian ambassador. And now, he is reportedly refusing to cooperate with the Senate Intelligence Committee.
7Paul Ryan — July 20, 2016
One thing is clear from the FBI’s investigation of Sec. Clinton: She recklessly mishandled classified information. https://t.co/Wrge2UC6Zl— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) July 20, 2016
"Recklessly mishandling classified information" sounds like a very serious offense. It also sounds like exactly what Trump did when he told the Russians classified information about ISIS obtained by an ally. When a Republican was doing the information sharing, however, Ryan has seemed less concerned. After news that Trump shared sensitive intel with Russia broke, his spokesperson said, "We have no way to know what was said, but protecting our nation's secrets is paramount," adding that Ryan "hopes for a full explanation of the facts from the administration."
8Donald Trump — Oct. 9, 2016
"But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation. Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception," Trump said at the second 2016 presidential debate. "There has never been anything like it. And we’re going to have a special prosecutor. When I speak, I go out and speak, the people of this country are furious. In my opinion, the people that have been long-time workers at the FBI are furious."
Well, the long-time workers at the FBI are furious now, according to a Politico report about how the agency responded to news that Trump fired Director James Comey.
And that special prosecutor Trump demanded? Well, the Justice Department just appointed Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to investigate Trump's team.
9Mike Pence — Oct. 28, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton's personal email server because no one is above the law.— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 28, 2016
Except when the president wants to fire the FBI director leading an investigation that could uncover damaging intel about him, apparently.
10Kellyanne Conway — Oct. 28, 2016
Most honest people I know are not under FBI investigation, let alone two. https://t.co/UcSmSA5aTj— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 29, 2016
This might explain why Conway reportedly said she "needed a shower" after stumping for Trump, according to MSNBC Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
11Sarah Huckabee Sanders — Oct. 28, 2016
12Sarah Huckabee Sanders — Oct. 29, 2016
Imagine if a REPUBLICAN presidential candidate came under FBI investigation as votes were being cast— Sarah Huckabee (@SarahHuckabee) October 30, 2016
Luckily, we don't have to imagine at all!